I had the opportunity last weekend to go on a studio tour of four tapestry artists in the Bay area as part of the ATA Silver Anniversary Celebration. It was fun seeing how other artists set up their studios.
We went to four studios...
Christine Laffer, who had what looked like a twelve foot weaving width Shannock loom! It was the largest loom I had ever seen. Looked like you would have to stand on a ladder to warp the loom. The interesting part was how she used mirrors attached to music stands to view the tapestry as she wove back to front.
Jan Moore, who had completely converted a garage into a fiber studio with a more familiar looking six foot weaving width Shannock loom. One wall had a huge window made of those clear blocks of glass - which allowed the light in but no direct sunlight. There were also a couple of sky lights on the roof. It looked to be a beautiful place to weave while it was sunny...potentially a bit dreary on a cloudy day. Her tapestries are shaped - not the traditional square or rectangle. She sews in a hard backing into her pieces so they retain their shape and look quite crisp on the wall.
Tricia Goldberg, who taught the workshop I took a couple months ago. She had a separate studio off from her house where she had a lovely old wooden upright tapestry loom along with smaller ones for her students.
Jean Pierre LaRochette also had a separate studio from his home. He actually has another South of the border where he spends half his year. Most interesting, he will do perhaps four renditions of the same tapestry in the same colors to maximize the work he can exhibit. He also sees it as a challenge to see if from a technical standpoint he can make each somewhat different yet the same.
So what did I get out of my Sunday fieldtrip?
First - a strong feeling I need focus more on my weaving and less on the Guild stuff that has been sucking up my time.
And second - a renewed desire to do a tapestry on my big Shannock from back to front. And to accomplish this, I would need some sort of mirror to view my tapestry without having to go around to the back of the loom. A quick trip to Ross and for less than twenty dollars I now have a mirror hanging on my loom.... check it out - -